People who consume foods containing MSG can also find themselves dealing with fluid retention. MSG is a flavor enhancer added to some products, and though it doesn’t have as much sodium as table salt, sodium is a main ingredient of MSG that can “increase water retention and puffiness around the eyes,” explains Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist, in an email to Health.
We started by compiling a list of every eye cream we could find — 404 of them. We pulled from popular online beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora plus retailers like Walgreens and Target, then we added in recommendations by established beauty brands like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Refinery29. We also made sure our list included South Korean beauty products — one of the hottest sources for skin care treatments. We looked at serums, creams, and lotions indiscriminately (although we did skip masks and eye rollers).
The sodium and puffy-eye connection is simple: sodium causes your body to hold onto fluid, and that includes in the tissues surrounding your eyes as well. Sodium is the main mineral in salt, so salty foods such as chips and cold cuts are major swollen-eye culprits. But sodium is also hidden in tons of packaged products, including bread, soup, and frozen meals. 
Testers generally preferred pump-tops over squeeze tubes or roller-balls. Clinique Pep Start had a roller-ball that turned squirt-gun on us unexpectedly and was difficult to control. Testers did like the metal ball of Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On, but reported that it was still a little trickier to apply than, say, a squeeze tube.
If you have pink eye, you would think you’d know it—this super contagious eye condition usually causes the mucus membranes that line your eyes to turn pinkish-red and swell up, releasing discharge as well.
We also made a couple of one-off cuts at this stage: Lumene Hehku Radiance Restoring Recovery Eye Cream is only available in the United Kingdom; and Cicatricure Eye Cream has artificial dyes. We were left with 33 contenders.
Puffy, swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes can occur when you have an eye infection such as pink eye. These swollen eyes are caused by inflammation associated with the eye infection, which directly affects the neighboring eyelids. Also, dry eyes can cause general puffiness and swelling.
As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including:
Swelling of the eye, also referred to as periorbital puffiness, refers to the presence of excess fluid (edema) in the connective tissues around the eye, most commonly the eyelids. A swollen eye can result from trauma, infections, or other injuries to the eye area. Other signs and symptoms can be associated with swelling of the eye, including excess tear production or discharge, eye irritation, redness, dryness, or obstructed or impaired vision, depending on the cause. Prolonged crying, trauma, or eye injury is a common cause of swollen eyes. Virtually any cause of inflammation to the eye area may manifest as eyelid swelling, although allergic reactions are likely the most common cause. With allergic reactions, the eyes may also be red and itchy as well as swollen. Rarely, systemic conditions (affecting the entire body) may result in fluid retention, including fluid retention in the tissues around the eyes. With Graves’ disease of the thyroid gland, proptosis or exophthalmos can occur. This means protrusion or bulging of the eyeball within the eye socket. Puffiness of the eyelids can also occur with this condition.
Next, decide whether you prefer a lightweight lotion that absorbs quickly — like Youth to the People (retinoid) and Botanics All Bright (peptide) — or a richer cream that lingers on the skin, like Skin Laundry (retinoid) or SkinMedica (peptide). If you’re not sure where to start, we’d suggest the medium-weight coverage offered by Kate Somerville’s Line Release retinoid cream or Mizon’s peptide cream.
To get rid of the puff, cut back your sodium intake. How much salt is too much? It varies from person to person, says Dr. McLaughlin, but the Centers for Disease Control suggest that most adults stick to less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. 
Hyaluronic acid is most effective when it can get into the deeper layers of the skin — which is why it is a common ingredient for fillers and injections. But in topical creams, it often has a hard time getting past the outer layer of skin because it is comprised of fairly large molecules. As a workaround, the most effective eye cream will use sodium hyaluronate instead, a derivative that is more easily absorbed into the skin because it has smaller molecules. We looked only at products that contained sodium hyaluronate (although we didn’t ding them for including HA).
Other times we get puffy eyes after sleeping. This can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Puffy eyes can also be caused by lack of sleep or excessive alcohol intake. Additional causes of puffy eyes include:
The skin around the eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes also hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. Eye creams can address some of these issues.
Why does it happen? Many things can contribute to eye puffiness, but the underlying cause has to do with fluid accumulation. For unknown reasons, fluid has collected around your eyes and the surrounding skin tissue. This tissue is among the thinnest in your body, so any swelling there is easy to see and hard to hide.
Elevating the head while sleeping can prevent the gravitational redistribution of fluid that is associated with eye swelling. A low-carb diet can prevent eye puffiness by preventing water retention.[citation needed] Eating foods rich in vitamins, especially A, C and E, helps to reduce eye puffiness and to maintain clear, moist skin.[9]
However, be aware that there are risks associated with using hemorrhoid creams for this purpose. If you accidentally get any of these types of products in your eye, you can experience a severe inflammatory response known as chemical conjunctivitis.
Our testers weren’t wild about these pigmented products, which don’t work with all skin tones and may look odd if not applied evenly and under makeup. But if you’re intrigued by optics, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl and Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream both rely on mica to help hide dark circles.
If you are drinking water late in the day your body may not have time to flush it out before bedtime, resulting in morning puffiness. This should resolve itself in a few hours. Otherwise you are probably retaining water due to consuming too much salt. Try to reduce your sodium intake.
Get enough sleep. If you have puffy eyes all day, it could be that you’re simply not getting enough sleep, or the quality of the sleep you are getting is poor. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of sleep deprivation. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
While some degree of puffiness may be normal for a given individual, factors such as age and fatigue may make the swelling more prominent. The periorbital tissues are most noticeably swollen immediately after waking, perhaps due to the gravitational redistribution of fluid in the horizontal position.
Of the many cult products Kiehl’s is known for, the Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is one of our favourites. A rich, hydrating cream packed with nourishing avocado oil and shea butter, it is ideal for those with sensitive eyes since it’s ophthalmologist-tested, and great for dry skin too thanks to its luxurious formula.
Vitamin B12 Infants: 3 mcg per day; children: 1–2 mcg per day; adults- 3 mcg per day; pregnant or lactating women: 4 mcg daily Injections of this vitamin can benefit those suffering from vision loss due to tobacco poisoning; decreases risk of dry macular degeneration Liver; muscle meats; fish; kidney; dairy products
“Retinol is one of my personal favorites,” Farris says. But it can be harsh on some skin. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream ($22.99) contains a gentle dose of retinol along with hyaluronic acid.
If you are sensitive to eye treatments (or just have particularly sensitive under-eye skin in general), this is the product for you! This is meant for “worn out eyes,” so anyone struggling with fine lines, dehydrated eyes, or dark circles.
Before applying a cream, I would suggest to use a skin roller to create tiny holes in the skin so the cream is delivered to deeper layers of skin. See today’s groupon goods deal for derma roller and collagen cream.
Reduce stress. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to a number of physical symptoms including swollen or puffy eyes. Try yoga, controlled breathing exercises, or meditation. All of these help moderate stress and are thought to help improve overall circulation. [8]
Vitamin D Depends on factors such as one’s exposure to UV light: 400 to 2,000 IU per day Reduces risk of nearsightedness, pink eye, keratoconus, and cataracts; strengths bones within body; improves skin Sunlight; limited amounts of fortified foods; fish; fish liver oils

Obviously once you have identified the cause of your puffy eyes it’s easier to adjust your lifestyle habits to tackle them. Or alternatively, you can seek medical advice if you think it may be an underlying symptom for something more serious. However, you can always try these natural remedies for reducing the appearance of puffy eyes:
You eat well, avoid alcohol, and always score a healthy 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Yet your undereye area sometimes resembles a tiny pillow. What’s going on? Some of us are simply genetically prone to eye puffiness, says Dr. McLaughlin. And this inherited predisposition tends to not show up until later in life, well into your 30s or 40s (though it can strike at younger ages as well).
Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand. Here’s the good news: Those over-the-counter medicines that you take for your allergies, colds, or sinus infections can dry up your puffy eyes — along with your runny nose. 
I’ve made this and it’s great, but it’s certainly not cream- it’s more of a liquid, unless right out of the fridge. I’m wondering if you ever make it with an emulsifier like beeswax? What do you think?
Beyond how you sleep, how much you sleep is also a factor. Although limited sleep may not actually cause under-eye circles, getting little sleep may make your complexion paler. Any shadows or dark circles you have may be more obvious as a result.
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Get some exercise. This improves circulation, which will help your body move fluid through your body, rather than letting it accumulate. If you have time, go for a run, do some yoga, or simply take a brisk walk.
Eye care professionals recommend using a washcloth dipped in cold water, which has the same effect. The reason cucumbers are not recommended is that food sometimes contains bacteria. Putting a possible bacteria source directly onto the eyes can lead to eye infections. The same is true of tea bags.
Revitol is a popular name and has garnered a lot of loyal followers. Revitol eye cream addresses many signs of aging like Puffiness, Dark Circles, and Wrinkles. Unlike some brands found in the market, this eye care brand uses N-hydroxycicinimide, a substance that’s known to be a powerful solution for under-eye circles.
To de-puff after watching a tearjerker flick or getting misty-eyed at a wedding, apply a cold compress to your eyes for a few minutes. A splash of cool water and a dab of concealer can also help you hide that you were crying (but concealer can’t do much for actually making your eyes less puffy, unfortunately).
As you might have realized by now, I’m a bit of a Tatcha stan. This eye serum doesn’t do a whole lot for dark circles, per se, but it’s incredible for hydrating and giving your eyes a lift. I know it’s on the pricey side, but it really is quite effective when it comes to fine lines, wrinkles, and hydration. The Okinawa red algae, honeysuckle leaf, and caffeine ingredients promise “instantly-visible firming, reduced puffiness, and plumping hydration to diminish fine lines.” It’s also the most luxurious applicator I’ve ever used — the ceramic applicator cools down as you use it, which helps with puffiness in its own right.
Need to know your skin type?Paula’s Choice breaks skin types up into three categories: Dry, Normal, and Oily. They advise washing your face, and waiting two hours without applying any products. If your skin looks flaky or feels tight, you have dry skin. Shiny and slick? Oily. Neither, but smooth? Normal, or you might have a combination of oily and dry sections.
The main difference between Estee and Botanics is application style. The Estee is a thin, cream-based formula with a tiny pump, good for dispensing precise amounts of cream. The Botanics uses a squeeze tube with a metal roller ball. Testers reported that the roller ball felt wonderfully cool under their eyes, but this application style does make it trickier to tell exactly how much product you’re applying.
Most people associate lack of sleep with dark underye circles. But Dr. Jaliman says not scoring enough snooze time can result in puffiness too. Dr. McLaughlin agrees: “Lack of sleep doesn’t cause the bags and puffiness but makes them puffier and more noticeable.” Not everyone who skimps on sleep will get swollen eyes, but it’s a definite consequence for most of us, he says.
As much as 75 percent of sodium found in American diets comes from processed or restaurant foods. To reduce your salt intake, steer clear of cured meats, cheese, pickles, and other processed foods. Prepackaged foods like instant soups are often high in sodium. Reading labels can help you identify excessive amounts of salt.
One of the main causes of puffy eyes is aging. The skin under your eyes is very thin, which augments any changes that may occur in your body as you age. Over time, the tissue in your eyelids can weaken. This can cause fat in your upper eyelid to fall, coming to rest in your lower eyelid.
Don’t like water? The good news is that all fluids count toward your daily total. Still, water is a low-calorie option. Try sparkling waters, flavored waters, or even water infused with fruit. Hot or cold herbal decaffeinated tea is another good choice.
Too much salt in your diet can cause your eyes to puff, as excess sodium levels can lead to bloating and fluid retention. If you think too much salt may be the cause of your swollen eyes, simply cut back on foods that contribute to fluid retention, such as pre-packed, frozen and canned foods as sodium is often added as a preservative to these foods.
A similar action takes place in the eyelids. The closed, non-blinking eyelids during sleep potentially can swell in certain people prone to this problem. So in the mornings, you could wake up with unusually puffy, swollen eyelids. As soon as you open your eyes and blinking begins, some of this swelling can diminish in an hour or so.
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Science has yet to discover a single ingredient that can reverse the aging process. Often “marketing tool” ingredients like caffeine, peptides, or collagen are added to an eye cream formulation to enhance sales. But there is no scientific evidence that these ingredients have any real benefit or that they can reverse the aging process. On the other hand, dermatologists say these breakthrough anti-aging products are the real deal. The ability of an eye cream to improve the appearance of skin around the eye is more dependent on the product’s ability to increase the water content of the skin, which is basically its effectiveness as a moisturizer.
Puffy eyes are usually only a temporary cosmetic worry, but occasionally, individuals become concerned about the cosmetic effect of periorbital swelling and seek surgical correction. Severe and persistent puffiness may be a sign of other serious medical conditions.
February 20, 2018 – We’ve updated our review to reflect the most recent research into anti-aging ingredients. We’ve also tested dozens of new finalists. We’re excited to recommend six new picks, all packed with the most effective ingredients we could find to help your skin battle signs of aging.
Normal aging – As a person grows older, the skin around the eyes becomes thinner and may swell or droop.[2] Further a gradual and generally permanent increase in the size of the suborbicularis oculi fat pad along with the thinning and weakening of the overlying musculature contributes to the apparent distention of the lower eyelids.[3]
I’m still figuring out what exactly does and does not make me have a weird allergic reaction under my eyes. However, I recently picked this up on the recommendation of the girls at the K-beauty store oo35mm (for dark circles and wrinkles), and it’s given me no trouble at all! So far, I’m very impressed.
There are plenty of eye cream ingredients that claim to improve blood circulation (like caffeine) or blood coagulation (like Vitamin K) which will theoretically reduce puffiness and dark circles. But the outer layer of your skin does such a good job protecting against invaders that it prevents most of these ingredients from penetrating deeply. You may be better off adding a cup of coffee or a spinach soufflée to your diet than waiting and hoping that these ingredients will sink in.
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